CapeTownMagazine.com

Deer Park

Unwrapping Cape Town with you.
Also engage with our other channels
to find something you don't want to miss.
 
www.capetownmagazine.com/subscribe
CapeTownMag
CapeTownMagazine.com
capetownmag

Deer Park

Exploring an abundance of nature on the edge of the city

This nature reserve is not five minutes away from the city, no, it’s on the very edge, so arguably, it’s a mere second away. As a born-and-bred Capetonian, Deer Park holds many memories for me; picnicking as a toddler, exploring as a teenager, are just some.

The nature is truly abundant, from scrubby fynbos and carpeting succulents to statuesque trees and leafy paths: a microcosm of the greater Table Mountain National Park.

I may have my own personal history with the park; but it pales in comparison to the rich heritage of runaway slaves, who found asylum (and hiding places) in the canopies of trees. There isn’t a lot on record about these forest dwellers; their survival in the mountains is stuff of lore. Another mystery is the shrine of Muslim spiritual leader Sayed Abdul Haq, not much is known about him, just that he was a member of the Qadariah Tariqa. We found his marble grave close to a running stream; and on the small path to get there, we noticed small strips of maroon cloth strung on bushes. There are at least five other graves in the area, but none as noticeable as this one.

Heritage and history aside, another thing that makes this green belt special is the view; the city on the one side, and Table Mountain rising like a craggy tidal wave on the other.

It’s a dog’s life

There are a variety of walks you can take, from easy meanders to the more challenging climbs. We decide on a moderate hike, so with feet shod in V-Lite Altitude Ultra Luxe WPi Hi-Tecs we set off.

The proximity to the city makes this a favourite for dog walkers; and a pleasure for dog spotters. On our walk we see a cornucopia of canine specimens: shuffling Scottish Terriers, gambolling mutts, and gormless bulldogs, to mention a few. We pass a man half-running to keep up with his pack of miss-matched hounds, over his shoulder he tells us he’s a dog-walker, and does this every day.

 What to bring

  • Hat, sunblock, water; there’s plenty of shade, but it’s good to come prepared.
  • Hiking shoes; you can come in flip flops if you aren’t planning to wander too far, there are wooden paths to explore.
  • Picnic; there are designated picnic spots (with inspiring city views), or you could find a tree to commandeer. 
  • Mountain bikes; there are some great trails.
  • Swimming costumes; paddle in bathtub-sized mountain pools.
  • There are bathroom facilities. 
  • Your best friend; as mentioned above this is hound heaven.
  • Children of all ages.

Routes

Circular*
Easy

Follow the path from the parking lot, start on the wooden walkways then head onto the mountain gravel. The path will naturally curve by the ‘dam’, it’s really more of a splash pool these days—or, to be frank, a doggie bath. Chill out here, and then continue on your way, you’ll now find yourself out of the sun and into a tunnel of trees. This leads to a beautiful mountain road with views of Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain, and soon you’ll find yourself at the beginning again.

Duration: 40 minutes.

Tafelberg Road*
Moderate

Begin on the same route as the Circular one, but instead of following the curve, head straight up the incline to Tafelberg Road. Once there, if you’ve still got energy, head up Platteklip Gorge.

Duration: one hour, depending on fitness levels.

**not official trail names

Link up to these routes from Deer Park

Devils Peak
Moderate

We recommend this route for its outstanding views: Table Mountain, Lions Head, City Bowl, Table Bay, Robben Island, and Northern Suburbs, all laid out for your peepers. Read more about this hike.

Woodstock Cave
Moderate
At the end of the tarred section, walk a further 100 metres on the dirt road and you will see a metal gate with stone pillars. The hike up to the cave begins a few steps before this gate; it is a little bit hidden. The route zigzags its way slowly up the slope and will bring you to Woodstock Cave’s mouth. Read more about this hike.

Tip: You can stay over in heart of Deer Park at The Wash House, which is part of the original historical Wash House complex where Cape Town’s washer women plied their trade in the mid to late 19th century. This house is built on the slopes of Table Mountain and was carefully restored to blend seamlessly with its natural surroundings.

Another tip: One of Cape Town’s favourite pizza places is a stone’s throw away from the park. Treat yourself at Woodlands Eatery after your walk.

Text by Malu Lambert and photographs by Lindsay Callaghan

*Sponsored by Hi-Tec

---

Walk a personal pilgrimage to slow down and take a break from a busy life during the Cape Camino.

---

Check out our Facebook album of the hike, and follow us on Twitter to find out where (and what) we’ll be hiking next. Plus, subscribe to our weekly newsletter for a seven day weather forecast.

Cape Town Events Calendar
May 2019
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31

Big Boys Don't DanceBig Boys Don’t Dance … Or Do They?

A decade since the creation of The Big Boys saga, the humourous dancers are back with a ...

peter_de_viliersRugby Legend Peter De Villiers Shares ...

Discover the incredible highs and lows of the historic sporting figure’s life

onomo_tacoTacos and Sangria at a Friday Fiesta ...

Tuck in while you soak in the atmosphere of the city centre

Kizomba WeekendLearn To Dance The Angolan Lambada, Or ...

Workshops, socialising and lessons from the champs at one unmissable African-dance party

Kunene And The King 2Kunene And The King: Two Men in One ...

Two theatre powerhouses come together to tell a story of change in South Africa

playful_veganSave Your Bacon With A Creative ...

Bring your own wine and let the conversation and laughter flow as your learn the art of ...

wine_of_exileNapoleon Loved Cape Town Wine. Find Out ...

Plus see Bonaparte’s cut-glass crystal goblets and taste the modern version of his ...

jeanlucs_4Share a Tasting Plate and a Bottle of ...

A hidden gem on Orphan street: Small and intimate bistro-style eatery with extra-special ...

ghost_walksWalk With Ghosts In A Haunted Village ...

Discover the mysterious Lavender Lady, an unsinkable coffin, butchering barbers, exhumed ...

OX Seals 04Smile: You Get 10% Off Seal Snorkelling ...

Up close with wild Cape fur seals in small, intimate excursions that are super special, ...

devonvalenew2Share A Double Brandy Special At ...

Enjoy a true South African sundowner at this picturesque venue just outside of ...

moyo_eden15Draughts for R25, R39 Cocktails Every ...

You, a couple friends, sitting at the Corona surfboard tables with your feet in the ...

cartelbraai5Friday Lunch Sorted: Lekker Braai At ...

End off the working week with a braai under the umbrellas in Green Point – food's ready ...

Jack BlackBeers and Bands at Jack Black Brewery ...

Every Friday night the Jack Black stage is lit up with local talent

La Paris_Bistro3Farm-Fresh Fare and Live Music Fridays ...

What an awesome vibe: Top Franschhoek chefs’ lunch favourite is now open till late (one ...

Wine FliesA Wine Tour Like No Other With Wine ...

Experience the best wines the Western Cape has to offer, all while having fun with Wine ...

camissatownship_newEmbark On A Township Eco-Friendly ...

Enjoy this interactive excursion to the bustling community of Langa

Glowing Rooms 3Get a Great Saving on 3D Mini-Golf with ...

Pay a special rate for entrance into SA’s first 3D space-themed glow-in-the-dark ...

Om Revolution vinyasa poseHave an Outdoor Yoga Experience with ...

Embrace your inner yogi outdoors

Roast and Co Daily: Two Hours of 2-For-1 Specials at ...

Plus: Half-price on all “To Share” plates – see what’s on the menu here

hq friday feels HQ Friday Feels: Dinner and Dancing on ...

Chill jazzy beats while you enjoy dinner, then the dance floor opens at 9pm till late

Boschendal_FridayMarket2Fresh: Friday Night Market in the ...

Rain or shine: Now more farm-fresh food stalls and seating, plus: local music and great ...

Park Inn_Rooftop1Friday Night Live DJ on the Rooftop at ...

Forget the traffic: watch the sun set to cool SA house vibes with after-work sundowners ...

Coco Safar Dinner NEW 2Indulge In Dinner and Dessert At Coco ...

And now they have added couture alcoholic cocktails to the menu at this all-day cafe

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Children's Events Cape TownSave on your kids’ birthday party ...

Make your kids’ birthday party extra special with outdoor laser tag with Battlefield ...

surfing muizenbergLearn To Surf Or Perfect Your Skills In ...

New to the surfing game? You’re in good hands at African Soul Surfer

African Soul Surfer Backpackers in Cape TownBook a Surf and Yoga Retreat at the ...

This week-long surf and yoga camp includes breakfast, accommodation and all your ...

zingara_manhattanBonding Experiences to Share with Dad ...

Use this day to reconnect with your old man

Fire and Ice Weekend PartyParty in the Fire & Ice Hotel Lobby ...

Live DJ, killer cocktails, 38 gourmet milkshakes and the chance to meet exciting new ...

Feastival - 4Come Hungry: The Night Feast Returns To ...

Cape Town’s favourite night of indulgence and celebration is back for the winter

Andre the Hilarious HypnotistThink You’re Immune To Hypnotism? ...

Find out why this veteran comedian can still makes people laugh with the same 25-year-old ...

Vergenoegd_duckrun1Cheer On The Ducks At Vergenoegd Löw

Bring the kids along to experience the Duck Parade

masque_theatreHeroes Assemble to Save A Local Theatre

See an award winning play and help actors save the Muizenberg theatre that started their ...

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.